Public Health Initiative in Lesotho Helps Keep Girls in School

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Lesotho recently adopted four schools and an orphanage, through collaboration with a government initiative, to ensure young women throughout the country receive feminine hygiene products.

“Hlokomela Banana: Care for Girls” was implemented since young girls in Lesotho will often miss up to 50 school days throughout the year once they start their menstrual cycle. The program’s goal is to provide them with sanitary towels for the entire year, which requires a donation of $5 per student.

Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso attended one of the distribution events, where she acknowledged the efforts made by AHF Lesotho to keep girls in school.

“To educate a girl is to educate a nation,” Queen ‘Masenate said. “I am sincerely grateful that organizations such as AHF heard my call to provide girls with hygiene necessities. So girls, do not disappoint me. It is time for you to shine in your studies.”

AHF Lesotho Country Program Manager Mapaballo Mile reiterated her sentiment for the country and elsewhere.

“Globally girls continue to miss school once their menstruation starts due to lack of facilities, lack of information or lack of personal sanitary products in the schools. Unfortunately, the ripple effect is that being away from school makes them potentially more susceptible to HIV infection,” said Mile. “This partnership with the Queen is to ensure girls receive free supplies of sanitary pads and education on menstrual hygiene management and HIV prevention.”

In addition to the collaboration on “Hlokomela Banana: Care for Girls,” a formal partnership between AHF Lesotho and the government will be announced once the Queen has reviewed the successful “Girls ACT “concept, which was introduced in four African countries last October and in the U.S. in January.